AA Driven COTY: Why the Hyundai Kona made the top 10
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Hyundai’s Kona compact SUV comes standard with body armour around all four wheels and a distinctively bold frontal treatment that sets it apart from other compact SUVs.
The Kona has separated top and bottom front lights that set off a cascading grille, giving the vehicle a bold frontal stance.
The overall appearance is enhanced by wraparound body cladding that helps give the Kona a wider, more aggressive stance, all of which helped propel it into the finalists for this year’s AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year award.
Petrol-engined Konas arrived in September last year, joined by the Kona Electric EV this August.
Dual frontal, side and side head-protecting curtain airbags are standard, along with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and lane support systems.
AA Driven Car of the Year judges felt the Kona was a confident, vibrant, sporty model that puts a smile on the driver’s face.
“It’s masculine looking both front and rear, plus drives like a hatchback,” they said.
The Kona comes with two engine options, either the 2-litre MPi 2WD with a six-speed automatic transmission, or the 1.6-litre Turbo GDi AWD with a seven-speed dual clutch.
The Kona Electric is the first compact electric SUV in New Zealand with more than 400km in effective, real-world driving range.
The Korean manufacturer launched the Kona with the millennial generation in mind, saying the vehicle was aimed at the needs of customers who pursue challenging, action-filled lifestyles.
It is named after a coastal region of the Big Island in Hawaii, and is available in a range of bright colours including ceramic blue, tangerine comet, pulse red, acid yellow and chalk white.